Superintendent Reviews Assessment Numbers; Peace Harbor CAO to Take on Additional Responsibilities; Oregon Climate Smart Award

Superintendent Reviews Assessment Numbers

The release of last spring’s State Assessment test scores by the Oregon Department of Education painted a discouraging picture.  But, says Siuslaw Superintendent of Schools Andy Grzeskowiak, on closer analysis they do show improvement in outcomes for area students.  He says by comparing how the same students fared, year to year, the numbers are better.  For instance, this year’s 5th graders tested 18 months ago in the 3rd grade showed an improvement.

“The general group of 28% but by the time they go to fourth grade they were at almost 42%.  They did the same thing in math they went from 19.8% to 39.8%.

By comparison, Siuslaw students ranked 3 basis points higher in language arts thank the statewide average, but were down by just under 2 points in math.  The superintendent says one factor that has a negative impact on testing was the change made by legislators a few years ago.

“When they were part of the graduation requirement our participation rate was higher and our overall proficiency rate was higher because kids took it a bit more seriously then.”

Grzeskowiak will present the numbers to the school board next week at their monthly meeting October 11th.

Peace Harbor CAO to Take on Additional Responsibilities

PeaceHealth has announced some changes in their administration for the entire PeaceHealth Network.  Locally Peace Harbor Medical center’s Chief Administrative Officer, Jason Hawkins will be doing double duty as he will take over CAO duties at Cottage Grove Community Medical Center beginning November 1.  Hawkins says it is not his first go around overseeing multiple hospitals.  He said he held similar responsibilities in Pennsylvania.  Dr. Jim McGovern, the interim Chief Executive Officer of the PeaceHealth Oregon Network says they are thankful that Hawkins will be taking on the additional responsibilities.  Hawkins focus in Florence over the past 6 years has led Peace Harbor to its first 5 star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Hawkins will discuss his new position on the October edition of Our Town this week.

Oregon Climate Smart Award

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry is now seeking nominations for its new Oregon Climate Smart Award. The award will recognize landowners, land managers, researchers, operators, or other forestry professionals who use climate change-adapted practices, or develop innovative methods for carbon capture, retention, or reduced carbon release. In March 2020, Governor Brown signed an executive order that highlighted that the state is experiencing an increase in frequency and severity of wildfires that endangers public health and safety and damage rural economies. The order directed agencies, including ODF, to prepare and plan for the impacts of climate change and to take actions to encourage carbon sequestration and storage. To be considered for recognition under the award program landowners must show efforts to improve climate resilience of forest lands and restore ecological functions, perform wildfire management, response and fire or smoke adaptation and carbon reduction or capture in forest operations such as logging or thinning.  Nominations for the awards are due by December 31st.